Rigatoni Meatball Soup

Rich and hearty, this comforting rigatoni meatball soup is a fun take on one of our favorite pasta dishes, complete with creamy mozzarella cheese.

Yield: Serves 8N

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Meatball Ingredients:

• 1 pound ground beef (85/15 ratio, organic if possible)
• 1 French roll (2-3 ounces), processed for 20-30 seconds in food processor for breadcrumbs
• 1 egg, whisked
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press (Need a good garlic press? Here’s the link: Rowav Garlic Press)
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
• Splash of milk or half & half (about 2 tablespoons)

Soup Ingredients:

• Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
• 1 onion, roughly chopped
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried parsley
• Pinch salt
• Pinch black pepper
• Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
• 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
• 1 (28 ounce/ 793 gram) can organic whole, peeled tomatoes
• 6 cups warm chicken stock (I like Better Than Bouillon to make my stock)
• 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 8 ounces uncooked rigatoni, cooked according to package instructions
• Grated mozzarella cheese (about ¼ cup per serving, so about 2 cups total)


  1. Prepare your meatballs by placing your ground beef into a large bowl, and then adding in the remainder of the meatball ingredients; gently mix together just until combined, and using a tablespoon, scoop portions of the mixture and roll between your palms to form meatballs.
  2. Place a large soup pot (non-stick is ideal, if you have it, you can give this one a try: Calphalon Unison Nonstick 4-Quart Soup Pot with Lid) over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; once the pot is hot, add in the meatballs, working in a couple of batches, if necessary; if you have a non-stick pot, then you can leave your meatballs to brown on that first side, undisturbed, for about 2-3 minutes; if your pot is not non-stick, make sure to move it around vigorously for about 30 seconds when you add in the meatballs so they don’t stick to the bottom before the sear up.
  3. Once the meatballs are browned on all sides (about 4 minutes total per batch), transfer them to a plate or bowl to hold; then, drizzle in a touch more olive oil (if needed), and add in the chopped onion.
  4. Saute the onion, scraping up the good bits from the meatballs as much as possible; add in the dried basil, oregano, and parsley, plus a pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using), and stir for a couple minutes until things soften.
  5. Add in the garlic and stir that to combine, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and stir to incorporate that in, about 30 seconds or so; add in the red wine to deglaze (if using), and after about 20 seconds, add in the whole tomatoes and the chicken stock.
  6. Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes; then, using a blender or a hand-held immersion blender puree the soup until smooth.
  7. Add the meatballs into the soup, and bring it back to a gentle simmer; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes more until the meatballs are tender.
  8. To serve, add ½ cup of the cooked rigatoni to a bowl, and ladle in some of the soup (about 1 ½ cups) along with 4 meatballs; top with about ¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese, and either enjoy immediately, or place under the broiler for a minute to melt and slightly brown the cheese.